mercredi 13 avril 2011

Growing the Easiest Garden

My compost pile is the love of my life.

I used to like gardening. A lot. Literally, I would turn my bedroom into a greenhouse in the winter. I planted every seed I could find, as well as some things that in hindsight I'm pretty sure were not seeds. (Cheerios, for example, will not grow.)

The problem is that I killed every plant I owned except for one aloe vera plant and a ponytail palm tree (my mom is in charge of taking care of them). I dreamed of starting a garden but my seedlings would die before they ever saw the Great Outdoors.

I tried really hard to grow a garden. I planted beans. I watered flowers. Everything died. I planted beans. I watered flowers. Everything died. I planted beans. I watered flowers...

It took me a while to accept this, but growing plants is not my calling. Not now.

No, I have a different vocation. It's called Composting Kitchen Scraps and I'm really good at it. It's simple: you take your kitchen scraps (no raw meat) (or any meat) and put them in a bowl. Take the bowl outside. Dump the bowl on your compost heap. It helps if you can contain your compost in some way so that the wild animals and your little dog Abbey won't carry yesterday's mango peels into the neighbors' yards. I built my compost pile around a huge pine tree in our backyard, inside a fence we made from old bricks.

Composting isn't all that different from gardening. It's just that instead of creating food from dirt you're creating dirt from food. Reverse gardening.

Lately, I've found that my compost pile bears great benefits called Mystery Plants That Grow in Piles of Food Scraps. Mostly these are seeds from food that we ate earlier in the season, and which have germinated. So far we've had squash, broccoli, potato, squash, onion, squash, and squash plants, plus a few extras that we couldn't identify. While we don't feel comfortable eating these plants, I have to tell you that they don't die. Let me repeat that: I cannot kill the plants that grow in my compost heap. It's compost and a garden all in one!

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